Monday, August 27, 2012

August 26, 1862

August 26, 1862: Learning that Stonewall Jackson’s troops had turned and were marching southeast through Thoroughfare Gap, aimed precisely at his rear and supply base, Pope details one division under Gen. Ricketts (from McDowell’s corps) to go see what Jackson was up to. Pope’s army other wise stays put down by the Rappahannock. In the meantime, two brigades of Stuart’s cavalry catch up with Stonewall’s troops. Stonewall details these riders and Gen. Ewell’s entire division to march on Bristoe Station, on the railroad that supplies Pope: there, they find a small detachment of infantry, which puts up a spirited fight—but they are driven off, and the Rebels destroy three trains as they come into the station, before the third one, damaged, backs up to warn the Union command. Jackson sends Gen. Trimble marching to Manassas to capture that depot, which Trimble finds by midnight. There is a skirmish there with a Federal detachment, which is also driven off, after the Rebels capture 300 of them.
Jackson's march around Pope


—Gen. Lee decides to move the other half of his army. Leaving Pope on the other side of the Rappahannock River to face what he thought was the bulk of Lee’s army, the Confederates begin to move out on the road that Jackson took, heading north under cover of the Bull Run mountains.


—George Michael Neese, a Confederate artilleryman, notes in his journal the orders to march out with the rest of Lee’s army:
August 26 — Last night at one o’clock our old bugle bleated around camp and waked us from a very sweet sleep to weary marching, and I felt very much like choking the man that dares to make such a blasted blowing noise at the stilly hour of midnight; but such is war when well followed. Whenever our haversacks are loaded with three days’ rations we may look for marching orders at any moment, day or night. Soon after the bugle sounded we were on the march toward the Blue Ridge. At daylight we arrived at Amissville, a small village in the southeastern edge of Rappahannock County. We halted there for the brigade wagons, which came up at nine o’clock. Then we renewed our march and moved to Gaines’ Crossroads, and camped. Gaines’ Crossroads is in Rappahannock County, twelve miles west of Warrenton. A great many of Jackson’s wagons are camped here.

—Stephen Tippetts, a Federal soldier in the 85th New York Infantry with the Army of the Potomac, writes home to his fiancee, Margaret Little. Among other things, he shares these thoughts with her:
One year ago today I entered the service of Uncle Sam and although I have seen a great many hardships; the year has passed very quickly, It does not seem to be a year since I enjoyed your society at Hugh’s how is it with you? I hope it will not be a year longer before I shall have the pleasure of enjoying your society all the while at my – our – home with no more war to call me away from my own dear Maggie. Such anticipations as these seem to cheer me in my lonely hours and nerve me in the hour of danger – was it not for the bright prospect ahead I should care but little what became of me. But I shall have to close as I have some duty to do. Please write soon and long, I hope in my next to tell you where we are located.

—The Richmond Daily Dispatch publishes this editorial on Mrs. Lincoln, taunting her with the death of two of her brothers, three of whom served in the Confederate Army:

Woe upon the Lady of the White House.

The "Lady of the White House," as Mrs. Lincoln is termed by the Northern papers, has doubtless felt deeply the woe that has been brought upon her by the unnatural war which Lincoln is waging upon the South. She has recently lost another brother, Lieut A. H. Todd, who [fell in] Baton Rouge gallantly battling for Southern independence. He was [a] noble gentleman and officer, and was attached to the 1st Kentucky. The brother was killed at Shiloh, and the only brother now left is said to be Captain Todd, now in command of the Confederate water battery below Vicksburg. May this last one be spared to his country! In penning this notice of the woe that has come upon Mrs. Lincoln. our design is not to reproach, much less to taunt or insult her. She is the sister of the gallant dead to whom we have referred and respect for their devoted patriotism and manly virtues forbid any such attempts on our part. We only refer to it to show the horrors which war produces and this unnatural one more than all. Well has it been written that.

"Man’s inhumanity to man.
Makes counties thousands mourn."

In this bloody war brothers have drawn the sword upon brothers; fathers upon sons, and sons upon fathers. Those who should have been "loving in life," and who in death, "should not have been divided," have hated in life, and been divided in death. Take only this one family of noble name and deeds — the Todd family of Kentucky–as an illustration, and what may not be written of it of heroic deeds, and of woe unutterable — of patriotic suffering, and of political pride and power! "Esther, the Queen," saved "Mordecai."
Would that a second Esther could stay this bloody war.

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